Access to Employment Secured Because of Legal Aid
Rochelle Jones* needed help. A 30-year-old misdemeanor on her record was a barrier to her getting a job. Although she wanted to clear her record, she didn’t know where to start until an expungement clinic hosted by the Legal Aid caught her attention. Stephanie Jackson, managing attorney of Legal Aid’s Health-Education- Work-Income-Immigration practice encouraged Ms. Jones to work with Legal Aid at the clinic. Ms. Jones remembers “Ms. Jackson set me up with a spot in one of the community clinics; she was so kind and professional, I knew I wanted to come in and talk personally.”
Ms. Jones attended a free legal advice clinic focused on expungements and other legal needs. At the clinic, Ms. Jones met attorney Christopher Murray, one of Legal Aid’s 1,600 pro bono volunteers. Mr. Murray worked personally with Ms. Jones on her case to ensure her success. After getting guidance at the clinic, Ms. Jones filed a pro se expungement with Bedford Municipal court. The motion was granted within days.
Ms. Jones was ecstatic and didn’t have enough positive things to say. “I thank God for Legal Aid, all the workers and attorneys who volunteer their time and expertise, and give back by helping others.” She also made no secret that she thought that Legal Aid was special. “Whenever I would talk to a lawyer somewhere else, they were haughty and judgmental. But every single person I ever talked to at Legal Aid was kind and compassionate. Especially the volunteers taking time away from their families to come help people like me.”
Since the expungement, she was able to obtain employment and is now proud to be supporting her family. As to whether she would recommend The Legal Aid Society to other people: “Sometimes you want to throw up your hands and quit, but don’t. There are good people that will help you.”
*Name changed to protect privacy of client.